The renowned Head Start Summer School is where our story first began; with a dozen or so students attending a week-long intensive course with our School Principle – Mrs Gray – alongside a top head teacher and verbal reasoning specialist in 1995, to help them fulfill their potential and achieve the best result possible in what was then the 12+. 25 years later, this is now our ‘flagship’ course; the heart and culmination of the entire Head Start programme of study. It is our most popular phase and whilst it has grown and developed substantially, it has been carefully reviewed and refined over 25 years and still upholds the strong principles and ethos at its heart established all those years ago; a commitment to achievement, maximizing your child’s potential.
Your child will attend the school over a period of five days receiving almost 30 hours of intensive tuition, designed to help prepare them to recognise, tackle and answer successfully, the full range of question types that are typical of the 11+. This is achieved through a detailed and exhaustive explanation of technique and strategy and on-going examination practice conducted under realistic examination conditions. There are a total of seven examinations taken over the five days that form the basis for learning, as well as familiarizing your child with the testing procedure and helping to build the stamina required to take the two-test format used for the 11+ itself.
We also place a heavy emphasis on the attitude the children take towards preparation for and the examination itself. The overall ‘vibe’ of the course is one of fun, positivity and encouragement whilst promoting the importance of working hard to maximize potential and achieving to the highest level possible. Whilst academic excellence is the goal, we encourage a ‘work hard play hard’ ethos with opportunities to play team sport and games during recess periods and planned extra-curricular activities throughout the week. This is to encourage the children to develop a positive and healthy mindset toward the 11+; of the process being a competition through which they can strive for and achieve excellence whilst retaining an element of fun and enjoyment. Each day also carries a specific theme towards that aim to promote success not just through working hard but the entire spectrum of exam preparation including mental attitude, application, sleep, diet etc.
At the end of the week there is a presentation and award ceremony to recognize the achievements of the children in both curricular and non-curricular elements of the course. This is also a chance to give you the parents an overview of what the children have done throughout the week and advice on how to proceed after completion of the course, to maintain and improve on the levels of attainment and momentum achieved over the five days as they look toward the 11+ itself. This is followed by an opportunity for parents to view the work undertaken throughout the week, take notes and speak to our tutors to obtain feedback on attitude, application and specific areas to work on.
Our Summer School is inimitable and unique in every aspect. It is a crucial element of our programme of study and is in our opinion vital to your child’s overall preparations and their ultimate success in the 11+ and beyond.